sorry to bother, after the first translation from Italian to English done together with @daynaan of a beautiful fic of Plateja (on ao3) which seems that at least some of you enjoyed, there is another Mystrade lovely fic in German that, together of course with the consent of the author, I think it’s really worth translating into English. Fics in languages other than English are “unhappy fics” because the audience is not that broad. I can’t write fics, so at least I can try to translate the already written ones! However, unfortunately, I am a non-native and when I translate I do make tons of mistakes (translating is much more difficult than writing in English directly, believe me). So I need a patient beta reader, who can correct them. Yes, I know, I am asking a lot, but I believe there are lovely Mystrade fics out there that are waiting to be appreciated and ….are simply in the “wrong language”.
In case you are interested and you believe there is still a non-appreciated fic somewhere, I can try to translate into English from Italian, French, German, and….if really needed (but I am not really good at those languages) from Spanish and Dutch.
A story that may have relevance for others, or then again, maybe not:
When I was in college, about ten or so years ago, I was a history major. I wanted to learn to dance, so I joined a swing dance club on campus. To my surprise, this club had about twice as many men as women (in high school, the last time I’d tried dancing, the ratio had gone the other way–lots of girls, and boys only that you could drag by their ears).
But apparently, there had been some kind of word spread specifically to the STEM guys that dance was a way that they could meet girls.
So anyway. I joined the swing dance club, and met a few guys. And at one point, when socializing with the guys outside of dance class, one of them asked me what my research was on. (I had already established that I was an honors history student doing a thesis, just as he had established that he was an honors… I’m not sure if he was CS or Math, but it was one of those.)
So I gave him the thumbnail sketch of my research. Now, to be clear, an honors senior thesis, while nothing like what a graduate student would do, was still fairly in-depth. I had to translate primary sources from the original late-Classical Latin. (My professor said, basically, that while there were plenty of translations of my source material, that I’d only be able to comfortably trust them if I had at least made a stab at a translation of my own. And he was right.) And there was so much secondary material, often contradictory, that I had been carefully sorting through.
But I was able to sift it into a three-sentence summary of my senior thesis work, you know, as one does.
So I gave him that summary, and then asked–since he was also an undergraduate senior doing an honors thesis–what his research was on.
“Oh,” he said, “you wouldn’t understand it.”
Reader, I went home in a frothing rage. Because I had thought we were playing one game–a game of ‘let’s talk about what we’re passionate about!’– and he had been playing another game, which was, one-upsmanship. I had done my best to give a basically understandable brief of my research–and he had used that against me. As if my research, my painstaking translation, my digging through archives and ILLs of esoteric works, my reading of ten thousand articles in Speculum (yes, the pre-eminent medievalist journal in North America is called Speculum, I’m sorry, it’s hilarious/sad but also true), and then my effort to sum it up for him, was nothing. Because his research into some kind of algorithm or other was just too complex for my tiny brain to conceive of. Because I just couldn’t possibly understand his work.
Now, the important note here is that the person I went home to was my senior year roommate. She was a graduate student–normally undergrads and graduate students couldn’t be roommates, but we’d been friends for years, and the tenured faculty-in-residence used his powers for good and permitted us to be roommates that year. Anyway. My senior year roommate was basically… in retrospect I think possibly an avatar of Athena. She was six feet tall, blonde, attractive in a muscular athletic way, a rock climber and racquetball player, sweet but sharp, extremely socially awkward, exceptionally kind even when it cost her to be kind, and an incredibly brilliant computer science major who spent most of her time working on extremely complicated mathematical algorithms. (Yes, I was a little in love with her, why do you ask? But she was as straight as a length of rope, and is now happily married, and so am I, so it worked out.)
(Still, yes, she is my mental image of Athena, to this day.)
Anyway, I came home in a frothing rage to my roommate, the Athena avatar. And I said, “He made me feel like such an idiot, that I could sum up my research to him but his research was just too smart for stupid little me.”
And she shut her book, and smiled at me, with her dark eyes and her high cheekbones and her bright hair, and said, “If he can’t explain his research to you, then he’s not nearly as smart as he thinks he is.”
Now I hesitated, because I’d be in college long enough to have sort of bought into the ridiculous idea that if you couldn’t dazzle them with your brilliance, you should baffle them with your bullshit. But she said, “Look, I’ve been doing work on computer science algorithms that have significantly complicated mathematical underpinnings. What do I do?”
And I said, “Genetic algorithms–that is, self-optimizing algorithms–for prioritization, specifically for scheduling.”
“Right,” she said. “You couldn’t code them because you’re not a computer scientist or a mathematician. But you can understand what I do. If someone can’t explain it like that, it isn’t a problem with you as a person. It’s a problem with them. They either don’t understand it as well as they think they do–or they want to make you feel inferior. And neither is a positive thing.”
If you are looking into something and have a question, and someone treats you like an idiot for not understanding right away… here is what I have to say: maybe it isn’t you who is the idiot.
Hello everyone! 👋🏻
Recently, I made a new friend who happens to speak Japanese and so he has been translating things for me. This karmagisa doujin happened to be one of them. I did the cleaning and typesetting, so that more people can enjoy it like we did! However, I don’t know the original source, and can’t imbed links on mobile anyway, so if you know it, please feel free to add it if you reblog.
I LOVE LYNX SO MUCH and I literally could not stop thinking about this like. How DID Lynx 17 convince Zarya to take them with her, seriously. And I figured it’s because Zarya needed a translator. At least a semi decent translator. Lynx is that semi-decent good enough translator.
EDIT: I know now it’s supposed to be Buenas, not Buenos(which was my fault as a non native speaker and not hearing the difference between -os and -as!) but I’m going to keep it bc 1) I don’t expect Lynx to,at this point, have anything better than basic Spanish from a downloadable pack from the intranet. And 2) Lynx has the ability to adapt linguistically once in that specific linguistic environment, and would adjust accordingly. For example, Lynx can speak English fine but once being in Australia for a period of time, would learn to automatically say “G'day” over “hello” or “good day” due to local vernacular. So basically, I like to think Lynx made an honest mistake here not knowing the word tardes was feminine, and Zarya didn’t know enough to correct them. Once in Mexico, Lynx’s programming would pick up the difference and correct itself naturally.
I have already given this more thought than I thought I would. Apologies for the typing! Both I and Lynx will know better in the future.
Thank you so much so our Bang Shihyuk PD-nim who looks like a deer and worked like crazy to bring us wonderful songs, I love you. Thank you so much to our poducers and staff who worked hard and wrote wonderful songs for us together with Bang PD-nim. Bighit’s mother Vice President Choi Yoojung, thank you so so much for taking care of my mental health. My soul friend, Director Yoon Seokjoon, thank you for welcoming me warmly whenever I come visit. Director Shinkyu, thank you for making my dream of having a drink with you come true. Director Chaeeun, thank you so much for your long messages full of kind words every time we have good news. Director Lee Hyuk, arigatou gozaimasu for welcoming us energetically every time we come to Japan. To our Bighit staff who are always working hard and full of energy, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thanks to our company staff - our family members - I’m living a good life like this. I’ll support for only good things to happen to our staff.
Ah, our family, fighting. Thank you so so much to our hair & make up family. Truthfully I do look handsome in the mirror, but with styled hair and makeup I shine. Kya. Thank you so much. Jjanggu, live long ㅠㅠ
And our ARMYs Every day I pray. Pray that only good things will happen to our ARMYs and you will always be happy. Thank you so much, for letting me live a happy life. Thank you ARMYs so much, I support and adore you guys so much, ARMYs are seriously the best. To our ARMYs who suit every beautiful modifier. I love you ARMYs.
I recently came across a discussion on Tony Stark as a queer-coded character in the comics (which I’m not going to link to because many of the threads were already deleted, ergo I’m assuming that the participants didn’t want the conversation to be spread), and I found it very interesting. For years I have read Tony Stark as subtextually bisexual in the comics, which hasn’t really translated to the films – at least not to the extent that the character of Captain America has been coded as bisexual in them. There has always been a borderline homoerotic relationship between Tony and his armor especially. But adjacent to this conversation, there was also an interesting thread in which Tony Stark asthe most female-coded superhero was discussed that I found fascinating.
Someone commented on the concept stating that while it may be true for the comics, movie-verse Tony Stark is certainly not female-coded.
But isn’t he, though?
We’ve discussed before how hypermasculinity sometimes seems to go so over-the-top that it does a full 360, coming out the other side seeming rather feminized, the hypermasculine male presented as a sexual object with assets on display (slim waist, thick thighs, full chest) for the consumption of the male gaze. But that’s not the case with Tony Stark; it isn’t his hypermasculinity that makes him seem female-coded, it’s the question of agency.
Tony does seem to possess many traits that we consider culturally feminine, female cliches, such as talking a lot and talking fast, using a rich vocabulary, a short and petite stature as compared to other superheroes, the narrative passing jugement on his promiscuity, the narrative passing judgement on his desire for junk-food, his passive demeanor, his self-consciousness about his body and having to wear underarmor in public to manage his chest, his avoidance of interpersonal conflict, looking for daddy’s love and approval, the way in which he conceals much of his intelligence because he knows that if people saw him for how he really is, they would be off-put by it ie. giving the appearance of being smart-but-not-too-smart, the eroticizing of his appearance in the narrative, the focus on what he’s wearing, his obsessive-compulsive behavior, meticulous grooming habits, delicate features, dressing to impress professionally, carrying conversations, his weakness being his heart, the fact that he has to dress into a suit that conceals his identity, his true self, to interact with the world, a hard outer shell that conceals his soft inside. There are aspects to Tony Stark in the films that are female-coded.
I think that some people might find these aspects difficult to see because there are three distinct personas to the character: there’s the Tony Stark that he projects to the outside world to hide who he really is that is his true armor, there’s Iron Man that is a prosthetic, an armor that shields him and allows him the protection of being who he really is, and then there’s Tony Stark, the person he is in his heart of hearts that we see only when’s alone with the artificial intelligences he created for himself, as his friends, the only friends that really, truly get to see him, because he knows that they won’t judge him (outside of him being alone, we see glimpses of the ‘real’ Tony Stark in Afganistan, in his interactions with Natasha and in two scenes with Steve: while they’re cutting wood and Tony asking Steve whether he knew).
These are the three sides to Tony Stark, and I see a lot of fans confuse his Tony Stark armor, his protective persona, with who he is because that is, by design, the loudest, most visible side to him.
There are many sides to him that are female-coded, but it’s the limited agency that he is given in the narrative that is the most telling. Most of his stories seem to revolve around the stripping of his agency and his struggle to regain it. This character – a genius, billionaire, playboy, philantropist – who ought to be the ultimate male power fantasy has all of his stories constructed around his lack of agency and his need of a prosthetic to claim agency for himself. It’s easy to assume that an able-bodied, rich, good-looking, well-educated, white CEO of the American upper crust has all the power and control in the world, but the narrative begins disabusing the viewer of this notion right off the bat. The narrative deconstructs his agency.
What I appreciated about the Iron Man films was how they subverted the role of the damsel in distress in Pepper Potts. Especially the end of the first film in which Pepper marched through broken glass in her stiletto shoes to save Tony Stark was something that made me stop and think for days afterwards. The third film basically recreated this subversion of the trope louder for those in the back that hadn’t caught it the first time. It was Pepper Potts that was the knight in shining armor, not the title character.
And it is Tony that we see as the damsel in distress, particularly again in the first and the third films. The first film contains the iconic scene of Obadiah Stane literally removing Tony’s agency in a scene that is filmed like a sexual violation, a none-too-subtle air of erotic violence in the air as he uses his date rape technology to incapacitate Tony. This is a turning point in the film. The third film contains a scene in which Tony Stark is zip-tied to a bed frame with the villain taunting him. It is implied that Tony is similarly submissive in bed. The main villain in the scene acts like a spurned lover, a definite air of seduction to his conduct toward the tied-up hero.
That is two cases of villains making eroticized advances toward a physically incapacitated Tony Stark. And it isn’t the violence or the incapacitation that makes the scenes female-coded, it is the eroticization of it. It is female characters that are subject to eroticized violence, generally speaking. The second film does not follow the pattern, but it could be interepreted as an obsessive, spurned man making unwanted advances toward our hero.
I wrote about the interaction between Natasha and Tony previously, on how she allows us to see a side of him that we usually don’t get to see. Some people have described Tony’s hiring of her as sexist, undoubtedly influenced by Pepper’s interpretation of his behaviour as he tried to figure her out (“And she is potentially a very expensive sexual harassment lawsuit if you keep ogling her like that.”), but his interest in her was never that kind of interest. His eyes don’t track her sexual assets. Tony saw something of himself in her, especially in the way she was playing a role, but even more than that, I think Tony saw in Natasha Romanoff something that he wanted desperately to be. In control.
Natasha Romanoff gives the air of being in control even when she gives up control, and in this she is the opposite of Tony Stark.
With this in mind, and I don’t remember whether I wrote about this before, I was quite disturbed by the way the climax of Civil War was shot not unlike a pornographic sex scene, Tony Stark being double-teamed by the super soldiers. The ending of the scene especially, with Steve straddling Tony, pounding on him, grunting, finishing it off with breathing heavily as he falls off Tony having penetrated his arc reactor with his shield, having incapacitated Tony’s prosthetic. Tony spits out blood as the super soldiers walk away from him. It’s rather symbolic, the implications of the scene very uncomfortable.
While Bucky Barnes is another character whose storyline heavily features the stripping down of agency, the female-coding of the strong, stoic silent-type is largely absent. Bucky Barnes and Tony Stark share similarities, and in this he offers a contrast to Tony.
So, yes. I do see Tony Stark of the movie-verse as a female-coded superhero because his story revolves around desperately grasping for agency. Among these hypermasculine heroes, the genius-billionaire-playboy-philantropist is at a disadvantage, so Tony Stark invented, constructed, and put on a suit that hides his true identity in order to have a measure of agency in a hypermasculine world, that allows him to assert himself. And in Civil War he was willing to sign off on his self-created agency because the establishment had managed to convince him that as a person with near unlimited resources, he was a danger to the world that he had risked his life and the lives of his loved ones to protect.
I think one of the most telling aspects of his character vis-à-vis Civil War is that, convinced that it is too dangerous for him to attempt to influence the outside world and other people in it, Tony Stark instead turned within and attempted to modify his own internal world, to (literally) influence his own internal state instead – to accept what he can’t change. This is a classic strategy of the disenfranchised.
Tony Stark is the most female-coded of the male superheroes.
It has always been a big trouble for me to understand the mental illness of Reiner. But after these chapters, I am capable of understanding him much better now.
A very broken mother raised him and filled him with her own dream, that if Reiner can become a Warrior, then they’ll live with his father who is hoping for a way to unite with them. And the first burden Reiner started to carry on his shoulders became his mother, and Marley made this weight even heavier for a child to carry, like using children to win a war against another country. But he believes in everything Marley and his mother says, despite everything was all lies. He believed that if he’ll get to choose as a Warrior and punish those evils on that island, he’ll finally have a happy family.
And when the first lie he believed in this much shattered down, we saw him having his first mental breakdown as well.
His father doesn’t want him and her mother. He is not praying for meeting them whatsoever. He thinks they are devils he needs to run away. It is all lies.
He hasn’t even realized a whole time passing, the next time Reiner regains his consciousness, they are about to set off the mainland.
But he still has lies to hold on, that he was chosen by Marley to inherit the Armored Titan, that he’ll be a hero and get rid of those devils on Paradis. But… He finds out that this also is nothing but a lie.
And then he has another breakdown after that realization.
And next time he regains his consciousness again, everything is about to change for him. Once again, we see Marcel getting eaten by Ymir. Once again, Reiner is having a shit day.
And then he starts to run to only lie he has left to believe, that he’ll be the hero to save the world once he punishes those devils on that island.
And once again, a lie he believed in crushes him there.
RBA snick in to the walls they have come to break down and join Military there.
And there, Reiner realizes that these people are not the devils. They are not in fault. It is his fault that they are in pain. On that day, Reiner realizes that the devils living on that island is actually more human than many, even himself. They are not planning to take down Marley, they don’t even understand what is going on. They are innocent. And the final piece of mental health Reiner flies away at that moment.
And Reiner creates a new lie for himself. That he is a loyal soldier and his cause is to protect the Walls and humanity.
I love how Ymir is right after all these time, Chapter 46.
Before these chapters, many of us, including me, thought that Reiner’s soldier personality is based on heroic big brother Marcel. Yes, it was true that Marcel was a big brother but the heroic one was Reiner there. If Marcel and Ymir have something in common, it is that they are both the characters fandom maybe put a little bit too much hope for. Both of them ended up being much simple than we thought they are.
Soldier Reiner was based on Reiner’s lies. Behind the walls, life was so peaceful for child Reiner who never had a chance to have his own dreams and his own interests. So he forgets why he is there, why he is there, and the burden of everything he carried from mainland to Paradis. Forgetting them must have been so peaceful for Reiner.
And the realization must hurt even more.
Chapter title for 95 can’t fit any better for him. And it fits even more, specially after seeing how he keeps lying.
From left to right; Reiner telling Bertl that he is not reliable in Chapter 77, Reiner telling the days he spent at Paradis in Chapter 94, Reiner interrupting Porco and protecting him from accidentally treason in Chapter 95, Reiner telling Falco that he needs to surpass Gabi in Chapter 93.
As he was growing up, he was telling himself the lies he believed in. After years, now he is telling people the lies he doesn’t believe anymore.
I walked into the room, avoiding direct eye contact with the alien waiting for me. Its huge eyes just looked like a jet black sclera set in a sack of vaguely damp, wrinkled gray leather. If eyes are a window into the soul, this creepy little guy would give satan a run for his money. They just put me on edge, somehow. I’d have to make eye contact anyway, but it could wait.
I strode up to the meeting table, pulled out the chair, and sat down. I shuffled around in my bag for a moment before pulling out a small piece of tech, which I set on the table in front of me.
“Before we begin, I want to be sure of a few things. This device you’ve provided us with, it is 100% effective at understanding and translating languages, correct?”
The alien across from me nodded. It’s a nice little allowance they’ve made for comfort, learning our body language, but its bulbous head threw the whole gesture off. It made me think of one of those old inflatable toys with a weight on the bottom, that would lean too far to the side before bouncing straight back up. Woobles or something. It didn’t really matter.
“Nearly. We occasionally find a race with one or two concepts that it has trouble with, but that’s easily smoothed over.”
I took a deep breath, and waited a moment to compose myself. This whole thing was going to be more trying than not interrupting old man Higgins up the street while he went on about whatever racist sentiment was in his head at the moment.
“One or two…okay. That’s odd.”
The alien blinked. Eyelids came in from not just the top and bottom, but also the sides. That’s just plain creepy. Reminds me of one of those really old movies they threw on the media blacklist pretty much as soon as first contact started. Something in black. Whatever it was, I remember seeing it as a kid, and that guy at the beginning had nothing on this alien’s eyes.
“Have you already found something it can’t translate?”
I nodded, then pulled out my communicator and scrolled through a few documents. I really needed to clean this thing out. Can’t believe I didn’t get around to it before coming to such an important meeting. Imagine the debacle that would result if I opened exactly the wrong thing. Never can know what that might be, honestly.
“Of a sort, yes. Mind humoring me for a few minutes?”
The alien steepled its hands together, and leaned forward. That’s just plain creepy. I wonder how they learned such context specific body language? Not that it really matters, I guess. Not my problem.
“Certainly. After all, it can take years to accept a race into the Federation.”
Nodding again, I pulled up a document on my communicator, then leaned back in my chair as I began. This was going to be more interesting than that time your classmate Jimmy found some old matches somewhere and almost burned the school down by mistake.
“Excellent. This shouldn’t take much time. I mentioned that we found some issues with your device. Allow me to demonstrate: Espionage.”
The little device on the table beeped, and a red light flashed.
“ERROR: NO ANALOGUE FOUND”
I sighed. That one had been an accident. We just had the thing sitting in a conference room while we discussed the implications of the visit when it came up. But, when something that simple for us to understand came up, we had to try for more.
Again, a beep and a flash of red.
“ERROR: NO ANALOGUE FOUND”
And again with the beep. This was going to get irritating if I didn’t speed things up a bit. Too bad we hadn’t managed to find a mute option for that feature.
The device gave off a series of distressed beeps, punctuated by rapid blinking of the little red light. I almost felt sorry for it. Almost.
“TOO MANY ERRORS DETECTED. REBOOTING. RUNNING SELF DIAGNOSTIC. NO DISCREPANCIES FOUND,”
I paused, and glanced across the table at the alien before looking back down at the translator. This was going to hit it harder than a washed up holovid actor with no auditions and less money hits rock bottom.
The chair across from me clattered to the ground as the alien practically fell out of its seat. I don’t blame the poor thing. Of all the aggressive, militaristic words we tried, that was one of the ones we least expected to translate. I mean, really. Who has a word for the intentional extermination of an entire sapient species when they don’t even understand fundamental hostile international mechanics like spying?
“Why do you have a word for…what was all that just now?”
I chuckled a bit while motioning for the alien to sit back down. His reaction had been pretty good, perfectly suitable for one of those hammed-up old dramas where the hero realizes they’ve been working with the villain all along.
“We were confused about that too. So we took a look at the information you sent as part of first contact with us. We noticed something interesting. Every single race in your Federation is carnivorous. Why is that?”
The alien seemed smaller somehow as it settled back into a seat. It looked kind of like a balloon slowly losing air, if that balloon was made of moldering gray leather with eyes that made your spinal column decide it wanted a holiday in Fiji.
“First contact has always been made after sapient races make it to multiple worlds. We’ve never found a sapient herbivorous race which failed to destroy themselves in resource wars and aggressive action. We’ve never found herbivores capable of surviving long enough to leave their own world.”
I leaned forward in the chair and smiled while finally making direct eye contact with the alien. I think the poor thing shivered when I did that. Not that I blame it. Imagine your reaction when you start to put the pieces together and realize that your friendly, upstanding next door neighbor might be the world’s most wanted criminal.
“And the races you have found, while commonly using threat displays, do not waste resources on wars they cannot easily win, correct?”
The alien nodded as it slouched a bit in its chair. It looked kind of like it was trying to hide. Who wouldn’t want to hide from the monsters in their closet?
“Wasted resources means decreased likelihood of survival.”
I shrugged. That was true enough, though rather coldly logical. Dispassionate logic like that has never been our strong suit. Then again, that’s why I’m in this situation in the first place, so it evens out.
“And yet herbivores constantly waste resources on aggression, on movement, on having more young than will possibly survive.”
The alien was staring at me. I’m not sure when the last time it blinked was. I wonder if those eyes need some kind of lubrication to keep from drying out. Probably, they looked a bit less creepy than they should’ve. Looked like they were losing their shine.
“And they die for it. That’s exactly why we’ve never encountered spacefaring herbivores. Their inherent aggression is their own demise.”
I held eye contact. I’d almost swear the alien was a weird statue right now. Don’t know who would commission a statue made of old greasy leather, but I’m sure there’s someone with too much money and too little sense who would give it a shot.
“Indeed. Now, back to the subject at hand. I’ll ask you before we continue: what can you offer humans for joining your Federation?”
The alien sputtered as it started moving again. I’d swear it looked offended. Maybe it doesn’t see where this is going. Not that it really matters, I guess. I mean, it probably matters about as much as posting a formal complaint to a new corporate policy, which is to say not at all.
“We’ve already sent the offer. You’ve seen that, I’m sure.”
I nodded, and began to tap out a staccato rhythm on the table with my fingers. I never could remember where I learned this stupid tune. I’ve known it as long as I can remember, and it just moves into my head on occasion and sticks around like that one couchsurfing friend who doesn’t understand the idea of wearing out their welcome.
“And I’m asking, what else do you have to offer?”
The alien just shook its head again, staring at the device. I wonder if it thought we might’ve tampered with it. As if we knew how. That little thing is way beyond our current abilities. We had some scientists pry it open and look inside, just to be sure.
“Nothing. I’m not sure why you’re-”
I raised my hand, cutting him off. Huh. Not sure why that worked. Did they learn that much of our body language? That’s still really creepy, if it’s the case. Or, maybe I just have it on edge. I dunno. I guess it doesn’t matter.
“May I have permission to connect my datapad with my ship’s computers?”
The alien glanced away from me for a moment. I assume it was checking in with superiors somehow. Maybe it was psychic, to an extent. Or maybe they just had an implant of some sort. We’ll find out eventually, I’m sure.
“Yes, if you like.”
I sighed. I guess that makes things easier for us. I don’t think anyone was going to like what I was about to do. This whole thing felt kind of like one of those holovids of an accident, where you know what’s coming and don’t want to keep going, but for some reason you just can’t seem to stop and pull yourself away.
“Computer, show video: Hiroshima”
A screen appeared in the air above my datapad. It started playing back an old, grainy video. Shaky, taken by hand in an aircraft in a firefight. Below, you can barely see a city being blotted out by a massive explosion. A cloud of smoke, fire and debris was rapidly climbing into the sky, billowing, growing, blooming into an eerie and easily recognized mushroom cloud.
“That’s…you’re using weapons of that scale on a population center? How recent was this?”
I shrugged, and closed the video. The screen on my datapad went back to the document I had up earlier. Gotta love how well they managed to predict this whole thing. I made a mental note to recommend a raise for whoever set up that document for me.
“Three centuries ago. Prior to our invention of spaceflight. Part of a much larger conflict. This is a relatively minor example of “overwhelming force”“
“ERROR: NO A-”
“Shut it. Computer, show infosheet: Battle of Stalingrad.”
A series of graphs and diagrams appeared above my datapad. They showed resources, time, maps, battle plans, and death tolls. Images were interspersed throughout, as were annotations on the tactical value of this, the emotional value of that. Prominent among them was a single apartment building, including notes on sniping from the roof and support via tunnels.
“That…what purpose would that…why w-”
Again, I raised my hand to cut him off, before closing the infosheet. Maybe it was both. Nah, couldn’t be. Only way it was both having this guy on edge and our body language is if it somehow had our body language built in. Unsettling thought, but not exactly likely.
“Because Stalingrad was an advantageous location and the people who died there were considered ‘Acceptable losses’“
“Computer, show gallery: General Sherman’s March to the Sea.”
A multitude of images appeared over the datapad. Rail lines and roads intentionally broken and destroyed. Farms and fields scoured clean and left to fallow. Buildings and towns razed to the ground. A broken people left to mourn and starve.
“So much waste…that can’t be intentional, can it?”
I glanced at the images, the wanton destruction that campaign caused, and the very orders that caused it. That kind of thing may be considered morally reprehensible now, even a war crime, but it wasn’t always. At the time, the strategy was extolled as one of the reasons the war ended the way it did.
“It was intentional.”
The alien stared at me, its reflective black eyes bigger than I’d ever seen them before. Creepy as all hell, that’s for sure. I’d rather not deal with these kinds of meetings in the future. Maybe after this I could negotiate for some kind of retirement.
I tapped my datapad and closed the gallery, then leaned back and tossed my feet on the table. May as well relax, I already knew how this was going to end.
“Because it rendered the enemy unable to use resources Sherman couldn’t keep. Computer, assemble and show video grouping: RTS Games”
A large grid of videos came up, showing a huge range of scenes. Largely battle, the settings varied from open space to deep ocean, from early history to the far “future.” Even battles across space and time could be seen.
“The translator can’t have gotten that right. Those are military tactical simulations. Higher level than anything I’ve ever seen or heard of.”
I laughed as I closed out all of the videos and turned back to the alien. Creepy and unsettling as it might be, I’m pretty sure I was terrifying the poor thing. Not that I really felt sorry for it. Not at all.
“No. They aren’t. Those are games. Toys. For. Fun. And they’re a couple hundred years out of date. From what I’ve seen, nearly every human capable of coherent speech is capable of tactically overwhelming your Federation. And since we’re already here, in space, it’s too late for you to say no. So, I’ll ask again:
LOOK, WHAT’S THAT IN THE SKY it’s a regular ole bird BUT down here online there’s a brand spanking new Portuguese translation! Ohhh yeeaaaaahh so hit that up if you’re one of my Brazilian Buddies or Mozambican Movers etc. etc. etc.
Persona 20th anniversary things! The magazine has sections for each game in the series (including spin offs), interviews, exclusive artwork, and excerpts from the p3 and p5 manga. It came with the file and reversible poster. I got the stickers and keychain separately.